8 Jul 2021

Crafty Mathematics

From Our Changing World, 5:00 am on 8 July 2021

A new perspective

Alona Ben Tal at her desk in the Mathematics Department at Massey University Albany.

Alona Ben Tal at her desk in the Mathematics Department at Massey University Albany. Photo: RNZ/Claire Concannon

Alona Ben Tal was sure that her mathematics experiment would be a simple check to confirm an existing idea about heart rate control. When the modelling proved that the existing theory couldn't be true, it instead uncovered new insights into how heart rate is regulated during breathing.

An Associate Professor at the Mathematics Department at Massey University, and a member of the Manaaki Mānawa Centre for Heart Research at Auckland University, Alona uses mathematical modelling to get a new perspective on puzzles about how the heart and lungs work and interact.

Getting crafty about teaching maths

For some it’s the scary subject at school but more New Zealanders are rediscovering maths, thanks to a crafty approach by local mathematicians.

Maths Craft uses creative skills such as knitting, crochet and origami to demonstrate the mathematical patterns and concepts that are all around us.

Katy Gosset visits one of the group’s festivals in Christchurch.

Hinke Osinga and Bernd Krauskopf with the crocheted Lorenz Manifold.

Hinke Osinga and Bernd Krauskopf with the crocheted Lorenz Manifold. Photo: RNZ/Katy Gosset

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Want to listen to more?

Our Changing World has a great back catalogue of mathematics related episodes, some are listed here.

To find more, use the search tab on the home Our Changing World page and type in maths.

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